In this short film, Godfather of French design Philippe Starck explains the inspiration behind his Organic range for Axor. It’s such a beautiful explanation that I was keen to find out more and chuffed to bits when I landed an interview with the man himself.
What’s the most important thing to know about you?
I am like Faust, I have sold my soul to this mental sickness called creativity.
The Axor Starck Organic range was a three year collaboration with Axor – how did the design process work?
This collection started from scratch with no preconceived ideas, coming from just the technical obligation, the functional parameters and the semantic of symbolism. The Organic collection invented new ergonomics to save water in an easy and harmonic way, which makes this product at the highest level of ecology. The shape comes from the tight line of vegetal and human body to remind us the obligatory coherence between us and saving water.
Aside from functional imperatives, what was the inspiration behind its organic form?
I am, hopefully at a low level, clearly autistic; I live alone with my wife and nowhere in space, I have no information, no inspiration. Good or bad, everything comes deeply from my mental sickness, which finally is me. Out of this I have a passion for the story of our evolution and mutation. I am deeply inspired by “us”, the beautiful story of our evolution. We all are mutants, part of a continuum where everybody must deserve to exist, must participate, whatever scale it is. It is the most poetic and inspiring story.
Which part of the process did you enjoy most and why?
Sharing a vision with the Hansgrohe family who, from being partners, have become friends and family.
What advice would you give to an aspiring product designer?
First I would ask him to think twice. And if he really wants to continue; to really serve as a designer – and this goes through ecological vision and technology.
Desert island design; which three items could you not live without?
Nothing because my wife is not an object. I will only bring her.
What makes a great designer?
To always remain humble; ‘small’.
What are you most proud of?
My rigor with myself.
And finally, what’s your favourite colour?!
Asking me to choose a favourite colour is like asking to a composer to choose his favourite musical note and a writer his favourite letter of the alphabet.
Further reading for the especially geeky:
Having established confessions of a design geek in 2010, Katie Treggiden has gone on to a career in design journalism, writing for titles such as The Guardian, The Telegraph, Elle Decoration, Stylist, Design Milk and Ideal Home. In 2014, she launched Fiera, an independent magazine dedicated to discovering new talent at the world’s design fairs. Her second book, Makers of East London, was published in 2015.
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